BBC Radio 4 to dramatise 'Ulysses'

BBC Radio 4 to dramatise 'Ulysses'

The 'Today' programme on BBC Radio 4 will become a real-life breakfast show next month when actor Henry Goodman cooks a meal in the studio as part of a day-long dramatisation of James Joyce's novel 'Ulysses'.

The complex novel, set over the course of the day of June 16, 1904 in Dublin, will be broadcast over five-and-a-half hours in seven sections.

Goodman plays one of its central characters and is joined by Bafta-winning 'Sherlock' star Andrew Scott, Niamh Cusack and Stephen Rea.

An early scene in which Goodman's character cooks kidneys for his wife will form part of the early-morning 'Today' show. Extracts will be played over the rest of the day, ending just before midnight.

A series of shows about the book and Joyce's life will be broadcast, with Melvyn Bragg examining the novel in a special 'In Our Time' programme.

'Front Row' presenter Mark Lawson is broadcasting from Dublin during the day, where the annual Bloomsday celebration of the novel is taking place. He will visit various landmarks mentioned in the book.

Jeremy Howe, commissioning editor at Radio 4 drama, said Mr Lawson would act as a guide to the novel: "His job is to hold our hand, the hand of the audience, and to guide them because I think there is a fear factor with this book and there are some scenes - and I'm a great fan of the book - but they are indigestible."

The book, widely regarded as a literary classic, caused controversy when it was published in 1922 because of its modernist stream-of-consciousness style and its frank approach to sex.

Mr Howe said: "Adapting Ulysses for radio is not without its challenges, particularly given some of the strong content.

"It is bawdy, irreverent and sometimes just plain smutty but always vital, life-affirming and entertaining. I have no doubt the Radio 4 listeners will take it in their stride."

More on this topic

Dublin celebrates Bloomsday

Joyce remembered with Bloomsday centenary breakfast

Thousands to celebrate Bloomsday anniversary

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